COP28: what is the Global Stocktake and why are we paying attention?

"The findings and recommendations of this Report need to be a wake-up call and a trigger for cogent commitments," – Pa'olelei Luteru, chair of the Association of Small Island States.

With COP28 around the corner, one of the main expected focuses of the year is the Global Stocktake report. What is it? Why is it important?

isla’s Climate Strategist Rebecca Lardeur (pictured below) helps give you a view of one of the most anticipated developments on the international climate stage.

What is the Global Stocktake?

The Global Stocktake is “a process for countries and stakeholders to see where they’re collectively making progress towards meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement – and where they’re not.” (1). In practice, the business world might know this as the ‘Net-Zero Targets’ or ‘Science-Based Targets’.

Policy-makers and scientists have developed the Global Stocktake through the United Nations. Every country has been working on collating data to inform this new report. In the last few weeks you might have seen reports looking at climate action progress starting to be released, such as the Climate Change Committee’s Adapting to Climate Change – Progress in Scotland report, the EU’s State of Climate Action report, the US’s Fifth National Climate Assessment report and Systems Change Lab’s State of Climate Action 2023 report. 

The first-ever Global Stocktake report is slated to conclude during this year’s COP28 in December (2). We will likely receive confirmation that the Paris Agreement efforts are insufficient. Still, this report will do so with context, which will help prioritise efforts.

Why is the Global Stocktake important, and why are we paying attention?

The Global Stocktake will look at everything related to where the world and industries stand on climate action and support and identify the gaps that will become focus areas for the next five years. 

Governments and industry bodies will look at this document and use it to develop plans for this period. Decarbonising quickly is as urgent as ever, as we might have all felt, with September 2023 (3) being the hottest month on record.

This report will offer a much-needed common framework for important next steps for climate change mitigation and adaptation, informed by science.

The events industry is intertwined with many sectors – mining for AV equipment, manufacturing and industry for tech and materials, land use for food and drink, and transport for travel of people and goods.

Having a view of what is currently happening in all industries, which is strong, lacking, the successes and challenges, will allow a wide range of event stakeholders to make informed decisions on where to prioritise efforts addressing environmental impact.

What has been discussed so far around the Global Stocktake?

In early September, the UNFCCC released the synthesis report of the global stocktake technical dialogue (4). A few key topics are emerging:

  1. The reduction pathways aren’t ambitious enough more ambition, support, and action are required for all stakeholders. Removing reliance on fossil fuels and stopping deforestation are also highlighted as crucial areas for action.
  2. Systems transformation is a term that comes up often and an approach that is highly promoted. Systems transformation is a method that is rapidly spreading throughout every industry (you might have heard of ‘systems-thinking’ as another sister concept).
  3. The importance of making plans focused on their context and removing the one-size-fits-all approach resonates throughout the report – calls to use inclusion and equity to design a tailored system and robust climate adaptation plans rely on this aspect.
  4. Climate adaptation is receiving a fair share of coverage this year, with a call for resilience resonating throughout the report. This is especially seen through Loss and Damage; the agreement hoped to be ratified during this year’s COP28 after much political back and forth on practical implementation for the plan.
  5. Aligning private and public finance to low-carbon trajectories across scales is essential. Looking at cleaner technologies, accelerating innovation, and growing capacity-building (green skills) will support the transition to the Paris Agreement pathway.

Stay tuned for further updates on the Global Stocktake following its release next month.


1, “Why the Global Stocktake is Important for Climate Action this Decade.” UNFCCC, Accessed 9 November 2023.

2. Srouji, Jamal, et al. “What Is the “Global Stocktake” and Why Is It Important?” World Resources Institute, 8 September 2023, Accessed 9 November 2023.

3. Masters, Jeff. “September 2023 was Earth’s most extreme month for heat ever recorded » Yale Climate Connections.” Yale Climate Connections, 13 October 2023, Accessed 21 November 2023.

4. UNFCCC. “Technical dialogue of the first global stocktake. Synthesis report by the co-facilitators of the technical dialogue.” UNFCCC, 8 September 2023, Accessed 21 November 2023.

5. Davies, Caroline. “King Charles to give opening address at Cop28 climate summit.” The Guardian, 1 November 2023, Accessed 9 November 2023.

Our latest news

Download our report

Sign up for
our newsletter

Join us and support a sustainable future for the events industry.

- Get involved by becoming a member
- Speak to us about something else